Existing plans to transform York’s historic waterfront could well be the start of a much larger regeneration of the city centre if a mayoral candidate has his way.

Conservative Keane Duncan has met with the Helmsley Group about their ambitious plans for Coney Street Riverside.

Not only has the former leader of the former Ryedale District Council given the York-based developer his support, he also wants their plans to be a catalyst for more

If elected in May, in the first-ever such election for York and North Yorkshire, the Conservative pledges to use mayoral investment funding to develop a wider masterplan to open up new areas along the banks of the Ouse and the Foss.


As part of a devolution deal, central government had pledged £18m of extra funding to the region for 30 years.

The candidate says he would use some of this to develop a wider masterplan, to bring together businesses groups, landowners, residents and others.

From then, he would hope new funding, both private and public, could be unlocked, to regenerate York’s riverside.

Keane said: “The rivers are a truly golden asset for York that we should fully embrace and place at the heart of the city’s future development.

"The plans from the Helmsley Group show what we can do for the city and the region. They are phenomenal plans. I hope they will be a catalyst for the region. They show what we can do with vision, the scale of what we are able to achieve. I want us to do even more.”

York Press:

Helmsley Group director Max Reeves welcomed the support and said: “Our vision for Coney Street Riverside is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to generate significant inward investment, further cementing York’s reputation as a fantastic place to visit, live and work, on both a national and an international stage.

“As mayoral candidate Keane Duncan understands, York’s riverfront is currently underutilised meaning there is a missed opportunity to create a much-needed public realm of national standing and connectivity and accessibility improvements within central York.”

Mr Reeves added his company looks forward to showcasing how its Coney Street Riverside proposals will honour the area’s heritage whilst securing its long-term future in the coming months.

York Press: Mayoral candidate Keane Duncan with Max Reeves of the Helmsley Group

Last December, Helmsley Group submitted plans for Coney Street featuring 250,000sq ft of mixed-use retail, leisure, commercial, and residential space, a riverside walkway and significant green and accessible public realm, both on the waterfront itself and also through the creation of new access routes between Coney Street and the riverfront.

Helmsley’s vision also sought boutique, independent retail shops, alongside newly-created and rejuvenated historic lanes and passageways joining Coney Street and the River Ouse together.

Related plans for public realm were submitted in February.

City of York Council has yet to determine concerning the planning applications for the Helmsley Group’s proposals.